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Guide to Discographical Research: Print Discographies

This is a guide to the range of resources useful for gathering information about specific recordings.

Print Discographies

The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound holds one of the world’s largest collection of print discographies, numbering over 7200, covering recordings made since the beginning of sound recording in the late 1880s up until the present day, and devoted to a range of genres and locations across the globe. These discographies are published by major academic presses, as well as by small, independent publishers; some are self-published by known discographers. Many of these discographies are produced in small batches and are not held by any other institution. Together, these discographies present the landscape of sound recordings releases that includes those that no longer exist in any physical collections.

Searching for Discographies in the Music & Recorded Sound Division

Additional print discographies can be located using these methods:

  • In the Shared Catalog, use the subject term “music discography” or “discography” and limit the search to location Performing Arts Research—Recorded Sound.
  • In the “legacy” NYPL catalog (www.legacy, use the keyword “discography” plus the name of a genre or performer.
  • In the “legacy” NYPL catalog, select “Advanced Search” and type in the call number prefix *L [space]. This prefix is used to designate all print discographies.

Print Discographies Available Online

A number of print discographies are now available online for free download, from the following sites: